Our prediction for this Europa League match:
After rolling over Romanian champions Cluj in the Europa League playoffs, Crvena Zvezda will be aiming to give fans yet another reason for celebration when they take on Braga in their group opener. The Serbian champions faced no difficulites in a 3-0 league win over Proleter at the weekend, but they will have a much bigger fish to fry against Braga. The club chiefs did well to keep hold of key player Aleksandar Katai in the summer transfer window, and we are positive that the former Los Angeles Galaxy man will pose a big threat to the opposition defenders. Gabon international Guelor Kanga is widely expected to return to the starting XI.
Centre forward Milan Pavkov is a major doubt after limping off with injury in the triumph over Proleter. Braga, on the other hand, head into the match following a goalless draw with Ferreira. The Reds are a very experienced side, but seeing that Crvena Zvezda are tough to beat at home, we are tempted to put our money on draw. All Carmo, Castro, and Sequeira are likely to miss the game with injuries for the visiting team.
Highlighted Player (Richmond Boakye):
Richmond Boakye is a Ghana international who plays for Serbian champions Crvena Zvezda. Boakye was born in Agogo, Ghana on January 28, 1993 and 17 years later he started his senior career at Genoa. After scoring one goal in six appearances in the league for the Rossoblu, Boakye joined Sassuolo on loan in 2011. The Ghanaian attacker was producing fine performances with the Neroverdi in the Italian top flight and, as a result, Juventus owners decided to sign a contract with him.
However, he was immediately sent on loan to his former club Sassuolo where he scored 11 goals in 32 appearances in the 2012/2013 season. Boakye played for Elche, Atalanta and Latina before joining Serbian side Red Star Belgrade. The Ghana international quickly established himself as the team’s key attacker, helping the “crveno-beli” win the 2017/2018 season.
After making 15 appearances for Jiangsu Suning, he returned to Crvena Zvezda in the summer of 2018 as Vladan Milojevic’s men booked their place in the Champions League group stages. Boakye scored his first goal for Ghana on his debut against China.
Highlighted Team (Braga):
Braga are a Portuguese club that have always been in the shadow of Primeira Liga giants Porto, Benfica and Sporting. Os Minhotos were founded on 19 January, 1921 and they originally played in green and white kits. After the World War II they changed their kits to red and they have been wearing red shirts and white shorts ever since.
Braga play their home games at Estadio Municipal de Braga, the stadium that was opened in December, 2003. Os Minhotos have yet to win the Primeira Liga title, but they finished the 2009/2010 campaign in second position in the standings, just five points behind champions Benfica.
In 2011 Braga participated in the Europa League final, but fellow Portuguese outfit Porto proved to be a big catch for Os Minhotos. Anyhow, that is regarded as the club’s biggest success. Vitoria de Guimaraes are considered Braga’s bitter rivals and the two teams face each other in the Minho derby.